Medical officer

NZDF health is tasked with 'maintaining, improving and restoring the health of the defence force' in order to maintain the operational effectiveness of the NZDF.  To achieve this the NZDF medical officer is expected to provide high quality care to defence personnel at home and on operations.  The Defence Medical Officer is a generalist with a diverse role that includes aspects of primary care, occupational medicine, sports/musculoskeletal medicine, expeditionary medicine, prehospital medicine and acute care.  The NZDF medical officer will be expected to provide this care to NZDF personnel, as required on land, at sea or in the air.  NZDF health is committed to providing opportunities to develop and maintain the skills and experience required to deliver this care.  Individual services may provide opportunities to acquire specific occupational knowledge or skills including Dive Medicine, Aviation Medicine etc however these are not exclusive to any particular service.

You should be committed to providing high quality care to NZDF personnel at home and operations.  You will sometimes be expected to work in diverse and challenging environments often in small multidisciplinary teams.  Solid interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain strong teams will be a key attribute at home and on operations.  You should be adaptable enough in your clinical practise to work with confidence, often in austere environments on land, at sea or in the air.  Health provision to defence is complex involving aspects of primary care, occupational medicine and emergency medicine.  You should be willing to acquire and continually develop skills across this broad spectrum of experience.

If you have referred to the minimum requirements below but would like more information on this role please email

Your initial remuneration will be based on previous experience and skill level. This is negotiated on a case by case basis. As your career continues, remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.

  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade
  • Be medically fit for service
  • Be of good character – assessed by study of testimonials and a police record check
  • Be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years
  • Like all Officers, you must also pass a two day final officer selection board (for senior / specialist applicants this may be replaced by a panel interview)

In addition to the above pre-joining general requirements, to be eligible for this role you should be qualified to be registered as a New Zealand medical practitioner for at least two years, and hold a current annual practising certificate.

Desirable experiences we would like interested applicants to hold include a solid grounding in the delivery of primary care, experience in small multidisciplinary teams; and experience in austere or expeditionary medicine.  Medical officers should have a solid grounding in the delivery of primary care, experience in aspects of acute care including ICU, ED, prehospital medicine, retrieval medicine or anaesthetics, with previous military experience preferred.

Medical Officers will be enlisted on fixed term engagements from 3-15 years.

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

Training requirements will depend on previous skills held, but all candidates for this role will be required to complete some initial military training.

(1 week) Location: Devonport Naval Base

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you’ll complete a five day Navy induction course before you start Joint Officer Induction.

(7 weeks) Location: RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim)

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, communications and an introduction to leadership.

It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.

Following successful completion of JOIC, you may be required to complete the Junior Officer Common Training Course, or specific modules within the course. Your attendance will be determined on a case by case basis, as appropriate for you to conduct your specialist tasks on base, at sea, or on operations.

(22 weeks) Location: Devonport Naval Base

This course covers the following subject areas:

  • RNZN customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Military law
  • Weapons training
  • Basic mariner training
  • Defence and strategic studies
  • Communication skills
  • Command, leadership and management